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North Korea`s Kim does not trust China: US cable

Last Updated: Monday, September 5, 2011 - 11:58

Pyongyang: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il expressed distrust of his country`s major economic prop China during a 2009 meeting with a visiting South Korean businesswoman, according to a US diplomatic cable.

The cable released by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks summarises a meeting between the US ambassador in Seoul and Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-Eun, who had recently returned from a meeting in Pyongyang with the leader.

The cable dated August 28, 2009 quoted Hyun as saying Kim had made a comment about "not trusting" China, without elaborating.

Kim also complained that Seoul`s Unification Ministry tasked with handling cross-border relations had "lost the driver`s seat" to the Foreign Ministry, which he asserted did not understand North Korea.

Hyun`s group developed two major cross-border joint projects, the Mount Kumgang resort and the Kaesong industrial estate.

The cable depicts Kim in apparent conciliatory mood, just months after a long-range missile launch and a second nuclear test sparked international concern.

Discussing relations with the United States, he told Hyun he had altered some parts of the Arirang festival to "fit American tastes".

Arirang involves tens of thousands of performers in mass games and artistic performances that praise the communist regime and the ruling dynasty.

The leader reportedly told Hyun he had cut out a sketch depicting a missile launch because he had heard Americans did not like it.

"He had also been advised that South Koreans did not like to see so many soldiers in the performance, so now more students were included," the cable says.

However, Kim described relations with Japan as "far worse than ever before" and Hyun was told separately by a senior official that the leader had ordered Japanese cars banned from Pyongyang`s streets.

The North`s leader returned late last month from a visit to China, his second this year to Pyongyang`s sole major ally and top trade partner.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, September 5, 2011 - 11:58
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